Fireworks on a lovely evening . . . . .

Late this afternoon in honor of a special day here there was a very long parade right down there in front of my place, and after dark a wonderful fireworks. I’m not sure which celebration it was as they have so many of them here.

See the railing in this picture? That is the railing of my lanai. I sat there this evening and watched the fireworks. How fortunate I am, as an old lady, that entertainment is brought right to where I am.

I have had a quiet peaceful winter. My daughter is here and we do things together now and then. But most of the time I have been working on my second book. When I return home I expect to contact the publisher with the intent to publish if they believe it is good enough. There is a time factor of course, because of my age, but I am still active and healthy and we’ll hope it stays that way through all the editing and work that goes into publishing.

I have a reservation to fly out of Honolulu on April 5 and return home on the 6th. I do hope the winter snows are gone and we’re ready for spring. Well, I’m ready, aren’t you? Our area is so beautiful in the spring. In fact, I thought it was unusually beautiful all of last year, everything so green and vibrant and full of color. We’ll hope for rain at just the right times and in the right amounts and plenty of sunshine.


Still young in Honolulu . . both of us . . . . .


After a pleasant dinner oceanside, on the ground level of the Aloha Tower, I went for a stroll and who should I run into but Elvis. He looked young, considering that he is, would be, 83. Still to me, 83 is young.

You may remember the Aloha Tower if you’ve been to Honolulu. It is a tall welcoming tower located where the cruise ships dock. It is part of a lovely building that used to have interesting shops. Now, oddly as it seems to me, this building was purchased and made into a college or university. Plenty of rooms for classes and for students, and it’s very nice. The tower still serves its purpose, however, to greet visitors to the island.

From small to capital letters . . . . .

Elks Club Table

Another report from Honolulu. You may find it amusing that local people  and also guests from other countries cannot have their dinner here at the Elks Club in Honolulu, if they are not Elks. Only Elks members can eat here and bring their guests to enjoy the one place closest to the water and in the perfect spot to watch the sunset and the then the lights coming on all along the Waikiki shore.

Honolulu has become a bit ritzy, with the old International Marketplace (where we used to buy shells and t-shirts and muumuus and jewelry) now a fancy smantsy center for places like Sacs Fifth Avenue, etc. In fact, the stores all along Waikiki are designer shops, places where I’ve never shopped and I don’t even know their names. I’m so small town from a fly-over state.

Yet, the hotsy totsy wealthy from every country and even from Honolulu itself, cannot enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the gorgeous views, the food and friendship of the Elks Club if they are not members. When I go there I find the place full of not only local members, but people from places like Norfolk, Nebraska, and Madison, Wisconsin, and Ames, Iowa, etc. We are among the “in crowd” and there it is easy to all be friends.

Not that there’s any real  importance in that observation. But it’s interesting.

Here is a poem I wrote this week for my new book, now almost finished:


Renewing my Alpha Bet

I may be stupid

but I never had this dream

of wanting to be somebody.

It seemed remote to me

because I realized I already

was somebody.

Then someone told me

no, you want to be


And then I had a glimpse

of what it means to

live a life of equal

to my betters

all because I switched

from small to

capital letters.









From any angle, would look and taste so sweet . . . .


pineapple 2

Did you know you could remove the top from the pineapple and plant it to grow another pineapple? Here is one plant that my daughter grew in her small garden space in Hawaii. In fact it is the third one she has grown . . the other two she ate and they were delicious. Isn’t it amazing how much one can do to brighten his life, with little cost, with little space, and a little ingenuity?

Garden plants





A sketch of my life . . . . .


I am in Paradise again, for the winter, and of course it is beautiful here, as always. Yet year after year I manage to dream up some little flaw to color my experience. This year it was a visit to the Urgent Care Center because my leg had turned bright red. I knew at .once it was cellulitis, a rather serious condition, because it happened to me once before.

I was lucky to miss being sent to the hospital and ended up at home on antibiotics . . and on the couch with my leg up on pillows. Not too bad for watching TV, but with the TV climate right now I didn’t find that an uplifting place to be. So I found I could write with my computer on top of my lower abdomen and I wrote a couple of new pieces for the book, which is finally shaping up.

I had signed up for a class in sketching, right next door in a community center. I had bought a small sketching kit and the class was to be yesterday. But of course I couldn’t go. Today the leg has improved. I went out to the lanai where I could still elevate my leg. I took my tablet and some sketching pencils and decided I would draw what I saw in front of me. I actually made a few strokes on paper and then I thought “Are you out of your mind? In front of you is the ocean, the beach, lots of trees, a big church, a big hotel, 2 streets full of traffic, a swimming pool, a tennis court, and way to the left a large park and, finally, Diamondhead.. And you, Doris Markland, don’t even know how to draw a leaf.”

I guess that is a lesson that some of us have to learn over and over. I remember the first meal I cooked for my husband. Gene and I were just engaged. I was living in someone’s home, where I had my own bedroom and bath, and that was all. The landlady told me I could use her kitchen for some special occasion. And this was it. I would cook a meal for my husband-to-be. Some years before I had done some cooking at home but I don’t remember that I planned and cooked an entire meal.

Now I learned there’s an art to planning things that taste good together, that can be done about the same time, and that your guest might enjoy. Furthermore I was in someone else’s kitchen and I didn’t know where things were.

But I got through it, and Gene said the meal was wonderful. It wasn’t. The pork chops were tough, the escalloped potatoes not quit done, and the creamed carrots were lumpy.

In retrospect I wondered why I hadn’t started a little smaller. I could have made him a sandwich.

Still, when you age and find time going by you so swiftly, you are more likely to jump into something and give it a try. What do you have to lose? So I’ll sketch next week, and for starters it will probably be a leaf..







Again . . . fun with puns . . . 2016



As always, I am absolutely fascinated with wordplay, and it is so especially appropriate during a holiday vacation time when we love to laugh and have fun with friends and relatives. Happy New Year to all of you !

* * * * * * * * * * *  *

Once again, the Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words . . .and the winners are:

  1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  1. Flabbergasted (adj.) appalled over how much weight you have gained
  1. Abdicate (v.) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4.Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

  1. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  1. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  1. Lymph (v.) to walk with a lisp.
  1. Gargoyle (n.) gross olive-flavored mouthwash.
  1. Flatulance (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  1. Balderdash (n.), A rapidly receding hairline.
  1. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  1. Pokkemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.

13.Circumvent (n) an opening in the front of  boxer shorts worn by Jewish              men.

14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand):  The belief that when             you die your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


Christmas fifty years ago today . . . . .


Exactly fifty years ago I sat down to my old Royal portable typewriter to write this Christmas letter to counteract all the cards we received that bragged, bragged, bragged. Don’t worry. My friends knew me. No one was insulted, and they already knew we had pretty good kids.

Christmas letter 1966

Dear Friends,

A Merry Christmas letter from the office mimeograph can sometimes read a little like a family epitaph, recording wise decisions made and listing honors won, with panoramic glimpses of togetherness and fun. So for a change the Markland clan is running off the press a Christmas letter sparkling with homey truthfulness.

We haven’t made our fortune yet, the bills are rolling in, and postage is expensive so we’ve kept the letter thin.

The kids are eating better than they’ve eaten in their lives. They’re breaking lots of records too . . mostly 45’s. Aside from that it seems we’ve not an awful lot to boast. John’s class nominated him the boy who talks the most; while he and Sara share alike distinction on the whole of failing just a point below the posted honor roll.

The music lessons screech along to a pretty tidy sum, and neither side admits to where the talent’s coming from. Our baby Tom is growing up; he’s running everywhere . . except in the direction of his little potty chair.

The market has its ups and downs, Gene’s competition’s keen, and with cattle or with golf balls it’s hard to “make the green.” The wife stayed out of politics and, judging from the score, discovered why her party lost elections years before. And as for the vacation fun we each, including Mother, went separately in great relief to rest up from each other.

In all it’s been a normal year, and as we wish you well, we’ll leave to speculation all the things we didn’t tell

Warmest wishes for a wonderful season.

The Marklands

Previous Older Entries